A welcome step in the right direction for Brentwood as planning is granted for a 28 unit battery energy storage system array
A site adjacent to a 132kV substation near Hutton Industrial Estate is the location for the new BESS. The 49.9MW battery energy storage system will provide rapid power boost on demand for the national grid. At times of low output from renewable energy generation or spikes in demand, the new BESS will kick-in to maintain full power supply.
A green future needs BESS
As non-renewable energy resources are phased out more battery energy storage systems will be needed. BESS are nothing new. Producers such as Aggreko and Anesco have been manufacturing them for well over a decade now. Recycled shipping containers are primarily used to house the batteries units. This is by far the greenest way to produce BESS’s.
When battery energy storage systems started to become more widely used, the energy they stored was mainly generated by fossil fuel or Nuclear power plants. However today that’s no longer the case. Since the increase and wind and solar power generation, a much great percentage of energy stored in BESS’s is from renewable sources.
Difficulties with interconnectors since brexit are a factor too. We can no longer rely on our European neighbors for cheap energy. In the UK the wind blows more than the sun shines. Our future, for now, is wind. If wind is to be as reliable as coal, gas and Nuclear, we are going to need more energy storage. Energy storage needs to be within close proximity to where its required. If its not, then it won’t work.
Council officers try to refuse application
Brentwood Borough Council officers wanted to refuse the application. This was on the basis that the benefits of a BESS installation would not outweigh the harm done to the green belt. The site is located near to Hutton Country Park which is adjacent to the huge Hutton Industrial Estate.
Resident David Woods said:
It seems to me the very special circumstances which are relied on as the of the application have not been established and not only have they not been established but any decision to make an exception like this should be based on a strategic review rather than on a case by case basis.
All this despite the same Council granting planning permission for developers to build luxury high value housing on other Brentwood green belt land locations. There is almost no provision for green modes of transport such as cycling in Brentwood either.
This new BESS installation is a much needed step in the right direction for this borough. If we are going to become carbon neutral by 2050, councils and communities like Brentwood desperately need help. Education first and foremost followed by action. Only by working together and pulling in the same direction can we achieve our goals to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels and cleanup our planet.
Cllr Keith Barber said:
We have a clear need for clean and reliable energy – and the word reliable is very important because in many countries you will see brownouts or blackouts because they do not have reliable energy. For me there is always a reluctance do to do anything the green belt because it has got enormous value but so has reliable energy. So you have to balance everything up.
Cllr Dr Tim Barrett said:
This is in green belt and I wish it were able to be in another location however I do believe it does meet special circumstances as I believe green technology is critical infrastructure for this country in the future.